Learning Objectives: In this session, teens will define vandalism, explore why people commit this crime, and consider its impact . . .
In this session, teens will define vandalism, explore why people commit this crime, and consider its impact on citizens and the community. Teens will focus on graffiti, a major vandalism problem, and explore its connection to gangs and hate crime. Finally, teens will discuss strategies to prevent vandalism.
Tips to Enhance Session 23:
- Read the graffiti section of NCPC’s publication, Positive Change Through Policy. This resource provides examples of anti-vandalism policies enacted throughout the United States, as well as questions you can use to facilitate discussion during Step D.
- Share NCPC’s brochure about vandalism (PDF), which both defines vandalism and provides solutions to vandalism, with students during Step C.
- Graffiti Hurts: Provides facts about graffiti and ways to prevent graffiti in your community.
- Los Angeles Police Department, Preventing Vandalism: Provides information about who is affected by vandalism, how to prevent vandalism, and the costs that vandalism poses on society.
Community Resource People:
- Neighborhood Watch member: Can provide information about vandalism in the community, as well as methods to prevent vandalism in your community.
Keep in mind that you should give the CRP the session materials at least one week before he or she participates in your class.
Service-Learning Project Ideas:
- Short Project: Teens can write articles for their school or community newspaper on the costs of vandalism and graffiti, its impact on school and other budgets for activities, and how the courts—juvenile and adult—treat vandals.
- Medium-Length Project: Students can raise money or get supplies donated from local businesses to conduct a neighborhood cleanup. Teens can paint over graffiti, replace vandalized property (such as park benches), and possibly add lighting. Then, students can celebrate their success with community members, so that many people realize that they have a stake in the community.
- Long Project: Students can start a vandalism hotline in cooperation with law enforcement and school officials that lets callers anonymously report incidents of vandalism and gives tips about vandals.